by Marcia Zidle, Featured Contributor
Why is it that something so simple as complimenting people for what they do well or encourage them as they work to improve their performance so hard to do for many managers?
Do You Say These Things?
- “I don’t need recognition. I am self-driven. My people should be the same.”
- “If I recognize them, they will let up and performance will drop.”
- “Recognizing individuals will only create more problems with those who don’t get it.”
- “Why should I recognize people for doing their jobs?”
Why it’s Important
If you want people to give their very best, you better be recognizing their efforts and contributions regularly. A paycheck is what helps people get to sleep at night, not what gets them going in the morning. Yes, money motivates to an extent. However, sincere and appreciative recognition leads to extraordinary performance from ordinary people.
What You Should Know About Recognition
- Recognition and reward are not the same thing.
Rewards are best used when high achievement standards are met or exceeded. For many managers, monetary reward is the only recognition strategy they know. In those circumstances, reward is very black and white – exceed your numbers and get recognized (usually with more money); come in at 99% and be labeled a marginal or poor performer. Recognition is different. It’s not an all or nothing thing. It’s given for appreciation, for improvement even for having a smile when taking with customers.
- Recognition serves many purposes not just for achievement.
With a hearty “Great job!”, or short note or public applause or even little trinkets, you let people know you appreciate their effort when they are making progress or going that extra mile. So look for opportunities to help people soar and let them know when they do.
- Don’t delegate recognition and encouragement, it’s your job!
You must get involved one on one whenever possible. Dropping a note of praise in an e-mail is one thing. Personally handing it to the other person, with a proud look in the eye, an affirming handshake or a genuine pat on the back is something entirely different.
Smart Moves Tip:
Write down the names of at least two people whom you know deserves some praise or encouragement from you for something they have recently done or are about to do. Now go out and recognize them. Let them know how important they are. Then find two more people. In other words, set daily or weekly goals for recognition. Get it in your planner like you do everything else that is important.